Keep up-to-date on your favourite artists and movies, track gig and release dates, and join in the conversation.
SEARCH RESULTS FOR
25 years ago, 'Clerks' was the low-budget comedy that took the world by storm. Click here to relive it in Jess' retrospective review!x
review, Thoroughbreds, Thoroughbreds, film, movie, latest movies, new movie, movie ratings, current movie reviews, latest films, recent movies, current movies, movie critics, new movie reviews, latest movie reviews, latest movies out, the latest movies, review film, latest cinema releases, Australian reviews, cinema, cinema reviews, Olivia Cooke, Anya Taylor-Joy, Anton Yelchin, Paul Sparks, Cory Finley, Comedy, Crime, Drama, Thriller film rating

THOROUGHBREDS

★★★★

A DARKLY AMUSING LOOK AT MILLENNIAL DISSATISFACTION

MELBOURNE INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL REVIEW
LATEST REVIEWS
By Jake Watt
28th July 2018

‘Thoroughbreds’ follows an upper-class high school student in suburban Connecticut, Lily (Anya Taylor-Joy, ‘The Witch’, ‘Split’), who reconnects with the equally-privileged but very strange Amanda (Olivia Cooke, ‘Ready Player One’, ‘Me and Earl and the Dying Girl’), after Amanda goes full-on ‘Equus’ and euthanises her crippled horse with a knife, resulting in charges of animal cruelty.

The girls had previously been childhood best friends, but grew apart after the death of Lily's father. They meet again under the pretence of hanging out and having a casual tutoring session, but Amanda knows that her mother (Kaili Vernoff) has paid Lily to socialise with her. Lily denies being paid, but Amanda, left emotionless by an unspecified mental disorder, is unfazed. Bored of faking niceties and the feelings she doesn’t possess, she casually cuts through her old friend’s pretences, slicing away Lily’s white lies, her feigned good manners and polite-society politeness. Lily meets with Amanda again, this time voluntarily, and they rekindle their friendship.

'THOROUGHBREDS' TRAILER

Lily lives with her mother (Francie Swift) and stepfather Mark (Paul Sparks, ‘The Greatest Showman’, TV’s ‘Boardwalk Empire’), a wealthy but abrasive fitness enthusiast whom she hates. When Mark enrols Lily in a boarding school for girls with behavioural issues, the two girls scheme to kill Lily's stepfather by blackmailing a low-level drug dealer (the late Anton Yelchin, ‘The Green Room’, ‘Star Trek Beyond’).

‘Thoroughbreds’ was originally scripted for the stage before being adapted for film, and it shows: taking place over four plot-pivoting chapters, the dialogue is abundant and the locations are limited. Cory Finley’s script recalls everything from the darkly comedic privileged teens of ‘Heathers’ and ‘Cruel Intentions’, through to the neo-noir of Rian Johnson’s ‘Brick’ and the tension of Alfred Hitchcock’s ‘Rope’.

Everything about Finley’s fiendishly clever, savagely funny directorial debut is precise: the words, shots, cuts, and the stealthily gliding movement of the camera.

Everything about Finley’s fiendishly clever, savagely funny directorial debut is precise: the words, shots, cuts, and the stealthily gliding movement of the camera. A special mention should be given to Erik Friedlander’s anxious score and the sound design, with Finley using off-screen noise to swell suspense around things like the muffled whirr and thump of Mark’s exercise machine.

A pair of early-twentysomething, England-raised actors, Olivia Cooke and Anya-Taylor Joy have pursued interesting roles in the past few years, straddling indie and blockbuster fare. In ‘Thoroughbreds’, they get to flex their muscles, free from the constraints of love interest or final girl characters. Both actors immediately sell Lily and Amanda’s deeply shared history and go on to savour the juicy dialogue, playing expertly off each other. In his final role, Anton Yelchin is all dumb swagger as an oily fall-guy who gets way out of his league.

‘Thoroughbreds’ is a deeply impressive first film from a writer/director who is able to effortlessly tap into the humour and darkness of the teenage psyche.

FAST FACTS
RELEASE DATE: TBA
RUN TIME: 1h 32m
CAST: Olivia Cooke
Anya Taylor-Joy
Anton Yelchin
Paul Sparks
WRITER/DIRECTOR: Cory Finley
SCORE: Erik Friedlander
ThoroughbredsFilm
Thoroughbreds
Thoroughbreds
TOP-RATED REVIEWS
Looking for more Melbourne International Film Festival reviews? Click here to check out our collection of this year's highlights.
After the Wedding - Michelle Williams & Julianne Moore's glamorous outing
TRENDINGWIN AFTER THE WEDDINGMichelle Williams & Julianne Moore's glamorous outing
Promised - Love is never perfectly arranged
TRENDINGWIN PROMISEDLove is never perfectly arranged
The Keeper - True story of WWII prisoner to soccer superstar
TRENDINGWIN THE KEEPERTrue story of WWII prisoner to soccer superstar
British Film Festival 2019 - Your ticket to the hottest festival in town
TRENDINGWIN BRITISH FILM FESTIVAL 2019Your ticket to the hottest festival in town
Balloon - Courage takes flight
TRENDINGWIN BALLOONCourage takes flight
Promised - Flashback to Australian-Italians in the 1970s is a bland affair
TRENDINGPROMISEDFlashback to Australian-Italians in the 1970s is a bland affair
Pavarotti - A perfunctory portrait of an opera superstar
TRENDINGPAVAROTTIA perfunctory portrait of an opera superstar
Ride Like a Girl - Melbourne Cup biopic plagued by race's questionable history
TRENDINGRIDE LIKE A GIRLMelbourne Cup biopic plagued by race's questionable history
Locusts - A low-key, low-down thriller
TRENDINGLOCUSTSA low-key, low-down thriller
25 km/h - A supremely easygoing German comedy
TRENDING25 KM/HA supremely easygoing German comedy
Little Monsters - No brains, all heart
TRENDINGLITTLE MONSTERSNo brains, all heart
Maleficent: Mistress of Evil - Disney still have some magic left in them
TRENDINGMALEFICENT: MISTRESS OF EVILDisney still have some magic left in them
Midsommar - Ari Aster brings the gore but lacks the emotion
TRENDINGMIDSOMMARAri Aster brings the gore but lacks the emotion
Five Feet Apart - Breathing borrowed air and clichés
TRENDINGFIVE FEET APARTBreathing borrowed air and clichés
25 years since Clerks - The Impact of Kevin Smith on an unsuspecting Hollywood
TRENDING25 YEARS SINCE CLERKSThe Impact of Kevin Smith on an unsuspecting Hollywood
Blinded By The Light - The spiritual sequel to Bend It Like Beckham
TRENDINGBLINDED BY THE LIGHTThe spiritual sequel to Bend It Like Beckham
Revisiting 'Dark City' 20 years later - The most underrated and influential sci-fi film ever?
TRENDINGREVISITING 'DARK CITY' 20 YEARS LATERThe most underrated and influential sci-fi film ever?
Zombieland: Double Tap - The gang's back for a brainless zombie comedy sequel
TRENDINGZOMBIELAND: DOUBLE TAPThe gang's back for a brainless zombie comedy sequel
NT Live: Fleabag - The birth of Phoebe Waller-Bridge's masterwork
TRENDINGNT LIVE: FLEABAGThe birth of Phoebe Waller-Bridge's masterwork
Gemini Man - Ang Lee vs Ang Lee: has technology gone too far?
TRENDINGGEMINI MANAng Lee vs Ang Lee: has technology gone too far?
© 2011 - 2019 midnightproductions
All rights reserved

Support SWITCH | Disclaimer | Contact Us